IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Partnership Establishes 'Launch Indiana'

2014-01-24T14:10:00Z 2014-01-24T18:11:20Z IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Partnership Establishes 'Launch Indiana'Gerry Dick Inside Indiana Business nwitimes.com
January 24, 2014 2:10 pm  • 

An effort to better link startups to successful entrepreneurs is being launched throughout the state. Inside INdiana Business has learned the Indiana Small Business Development Center is partnering with Launch Fishers to create the Launch Indiana SBDC. The initiative will focus on providing mentoring, education and other opportunities for what the state describes as innovation-driven entrepreneurs.

State Continues New York Push

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has announced additional initiatives designed to attract New York City-area employers to Indiana. The state is taking out a full-page advertisement in this Sunday's edition of The New York Times and is running digital billboards near MetLife Stadium in advance of next weekend's Super Bowl. The newspaper ad will feature the line "New York: if you can make it there, you can make a lot more of it here." Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says New York state has proven to be "good hunting ground" for Indiana.

Indy Company Outlines Ambitious Growth Plans

Inside INdiana Business has learned Indianapolis-based Localstake says it wants to expand into a new state every month this year. The online crowdfunding platform launched in Indiana and Michigan last year, and Monday is rolling out in Wisconsin. Co-founder Kevin Hitchen says partnerships with local investor networks and state laws easing restrictions on crowdfunding will determine where the company expands next. He says Localstake is already in talks with organizations in states including California, Texas and Oregon. Hitchen says increased demand is fueling the company's growth.

House Schedules Marriage Amendment Hearing

A proposal that would further define marriage is scheduled to be heard Monday afternoon on the floor of the Indiana House. The measure was approved by the House Elections and Apportionment Committee Wednesday after it was moved from the House Judiciary Committee.

Carbon Motors Cruiser Sells at Auction

The prototype police cruiser created by now-defunct Carbon Motors Co. has sold at auction for nearly $90,000. The sale also included the company's intellectual property, computers and other equipment.

IU Health Begins Hospital President Search

The president of Indiana University Health Methodist and University hospitals will leave the post March 1. Jim Terwilliger was appointed to the position in 2012 and has been with IU Health since 2011. The move is part of organizational changes outlined in an internal memo from IU Health Executive Vice President Dennis Murphy.

Hundreds of Acres to Hit Auction Block

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. is set to sell more than 600 acres of farm land next month in Newton County. Last week, the Columbia City-based company auctioned off a 700-acre property in Putnam County for $7 million.

Hill-Rom Announces Cuts

Batesville-based Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. is planning major restructuring, which will result in the elimination of approximately 350 positions in the U.S. and Europe. The company is looking to save $30 million annually and has not stated how many will be affected in Indiana.

Tavern on List For 'Book Nerds'

A social news and entertainment website has named an iconic Hoosier bar on a list of bars "every 'book nerd' should visit." BuzzFeed includes an Indianapolis location among a group that features destinations in England, France and Spain.

Funding Boosts Renewable Energy Startup

A White County-based agricultural company has landed a $500,000 federal grant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funding helps Waste No Energy LLC pay for construction of an anaerobic digester, which is expected to produce millions of kilowatt hours of energy each year.

CountryMark Looks to Future With CNG

Indianapolis-based CountryMark believes a multi-million dollar plan to add compressed natural gas to its fuel lineup will be "an economic mover" for the state. The company says it will likely begin with four or five locations along heavily-traveled routes. Chief Executive Officer Charlie Smith tells Inside INdiana Business he believes "the future is heading in this direction," and says the time is right for the company to establish its footprint in the CNG market. Smith says he is confident there will be enough demand to justify the investment.

Notre Dame, Under Armour Strike Historic Deal

The University of Notre Dame has inked a uniform and equipment deal that Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick says is "the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university." The 10-year partnership with Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) gives the Maryland-based company exclusive design and supply rights for all 26 Fighting Irish varsity teams. Specific financial terms are not being announced.

University Receives $3 Million Gift

The University of Evansville has received an approximately $3 million gift from a longtime elementary and high school teacher. The school says the donation from Irma Jean Rodgers will fund scholarships for area students beginning this fall.

Bloomington Targeting Top Tech Talent

Bloomington leaders say much of the city's 2014 economic strategy focuses on attracting and developing tech talent. Bloomington Economic Development Corp. President Ron Walker says the city plans to expand a technology partnership to include a job fair and coding school program. He says in addition to attracting new tech companies and talent, the city hopes to train people already living in the area for the jobs that are available. Walker says the city will also roll out life science and entrepreneurship initiatives this year.

Cabinet Manufacturer Looks to Add Jobs

A Jasper-based company is seeking tax abatement for expansion plans in Dubois County. MasterBrand Cabinets Inc. has announced plans to invest more than $1 million in new equipment and add 135 jobs this year. The Ferdinand Town Council will host a public hearing on the request in the next few weeks. The manufacturer has six operations throughout the state.

Website Ranks Best Cities For Job Seekers

A national financial website has ranked the top 10 cities in Indiana for job prospects. NerdWallet rates cities in Hamilton, Marion, Johnson, Clark, Lake, Howard, Monroe, Hendricks and Bartholomew counties at the top of the statewide list.

NRA Convention Coming to Indy

The National Rifle Association is coming to Indiana for what Visit Indy says may be the largest convention in the state's history. Vice President of Marketing and Communications Chris Gahl estimates the April event will draw 77,000 visitors and have an economic impact of $55 million. He says the city began working with the NRA several years ago and was able to land the convention in part because of the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. Gahl says there is always strong competition to land the event.

State Fair Hopes to Banish Booze Ban

The executive director of the Indiana State Fair believes lifting the ban on alcohol sales could initially provide a $200,000 revenue stream for the annual event. Cindy Hoye says the money would go back into the facility and reduce some of the fair's operational costs. A proposal at the Statehouse would repeal the ban that has been in place since 1947. During an interview last weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, Hoye said the move would also help showcase the state's burgeoning beer and wine industries.

Kimball to Spin-Off Unit, CEO to Retire

Jasper-based Kimball International Inc. (Nasdaq: KBALB) plans to spin off its electrical manufacturing services business. The move would create the publicly-traded Kimball Electronics Inc., which would serve the auto, medical, industrial and public safety markets. Kimball has also announced Chief Executive Officer James Thyen will retire once the spin-off is complete.

Pet Food Manufacturer Seeking Abatement

Mishawaka Common Council members could make a decision this evening on a five-year tax abatement request by a pet food producer. WellPet LLC is seeking the break on a $2 million piece of equipment. The company already employs more than 90 in Mishawaka.

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